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400 million investment in the Royal Air Force




RAF will be strengthened by an investment of nearly $400 million to enhance the capabilities of two key assets: the C-17 Globemaster aircraft and the CH-47 Chinook helicopter.

The UK’s C-17 fleet, which played a key role in the UK’s recent withdrawal from Afghanistan, will receive an investment of 324 million. It will upgrade its software and hardware to improve its airlifting capabilities as part of its contract with the US Air Force.

The UK’s Mk5 and Mk6 Chinook helicopters will be augmented with state-of-the-art defense systems as part of a 64 million contract with Boeing Defense UK (BDUK) to make it difficult for adversaries to detect.

Defense Procurement Minister Jeremy Quin said:

Whether evacuating people from Kabul, transporting people to hospitals during Covid-19, or providing critical logistics on the battlefield, the C-17 and Chinook provide valuable services to militaries around the world.

This investment ensures that our aircraft are equipped with state-of-the-art technology to meet the myriad new threats of the adversary.

The investment builds on a commitment outlined in a Defense Command document earlier this year confirming operational obligations for both aircraft as part of the Unified Forces 2030 approach. This is further supported by a 24 billion increase in defense spending over the next four years announced by the Prime Minister in November 2020.

Negotiating with Defense Equipment and Support (DE&S), the five-and-a-half-year C-17 contract will continue highly specialized support for the aircraft under the concept of a virtual fleet with global access to all nine operating countries. – Class support solution.

Upgrades include improvements to the Beyond Line of Sight satellite-enabled communications equipment, greater visibility through the cockpit’s heads-up display, which helps to increase pilot situational awareness and expand the range of current free-parachute capabilities.

A five-year contract for Chinook helicopters managed by DE&S will install state-of-the-art Infrared Suppression Systems (IRSS) on select fleets to provide better protection from threats from new missile systems that use heat. Infrared) signature of the target aircraft. IRSS technology counters with the helicopter’s blanking plate, which obscures hot parts and redirects airflow to cool the exhaust, making the target more difficult.

Air Force Chief of Staff Sir Mike Wigston said:

I’m excited about the introduction of these cutting-edge upgrades to Chinook and the C-17 Globemaster, and the significant benefits of nine allies working on the C-17 as a virtual fleet.

These measures allow Chinook and Globemaster squadrons to operate whenever needed from anywhere in the world.

The contract will support around 200 jobs across the UK. As the Chinook upgrade rolls out, approximately 100 people will be retained at BDUK sites across the country, contributing to the approximately 450 people employed to support Chinook across the broader defense supply chain.

About 50 new jobs will also be created at RAF Brize Norton, bringing a total of about 100 field workers to provide maintenance and logistics for the C-17 fleet. The new contract, announced today, provides ongoing support for C-17s under a virtual fleet concept, allowing the UK and eight other countries operating the aircraft to provide cost-effective and efficient support, as well as additional spare equipment, parts and resources. You can access it.




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